About Sharon's Historical Programs
Sharon regularly performs five original historical pieces:
Emmeline, The Story of a Lowell Mill Girl
The Strike for Bread and Roses: Lawrence, 1912
Emilia and Mrs. Finn and
The Pemberton Mill Disaster.
These pieces were originally commissioned by the Lowell Heritage State Park, The Bread and Roses Festival Committee, the Lawrence Immigrant City Archives, and the Museum of American Textile History, North Andover.
These shows are all designed for adults, although some of them have also been performed for junior and senior high school students. Sharon performs them in repertoire throughout the year.
In the past two years, Emmeline has been performed at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont, at Salem State College, and at historical societies in Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Kate OConnell has been performed at Fitchburg State College, the Arlington Center for the Arts, and for several Irish organizations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The Strike for Bread and Roses, was performed two consecutive years at the Bread and Roses Festival, at a conference for women labor organizers at Merrimack College, at the New England Folk Festival, and ten times at the Lawrence Heritage State Park for junior high students and their teachers. Emilia and Mrs. Finn, a two-person play depicting the relationship between Irish and Hispanic immigrant groups in Lawrence, and based on their oral histories, premiered in September, 1991.
Critical response to these pieces has been excellent.
The Boston Globe called Emmeline, A show that consistently delights audiences. About The Pemberton Mill Disaster they said, "The mill story is so compelling and Kennedy so vivid in her telling that the program is spellbinding."
The Boston Phoenix described Kate OConnell as, A thoroughly researched, highly entertaining, and ultimately moving one-woman show.
About The Strike for Bread and Roses, the Lowell Sun wrote, It was a tale that brought tears and laughter and the audience, a group as diverse as the citys long, proud history, was transfixed, and Edward Jay Pershey, director of the Tsongas Industrial History Center, said, You received rave reviews from the [audience] many stated that they were mesmerized by your performance.
The Lawrence Eagle-Tribune said about Emilia and Mrs. Finn, This was more than just a theater play. The characters and their fates, anecdotes and jokes, seemed familiar, because they were based on true experience. For me
it was about the first glimpse of a way out [of Lawrences problems].